This spring, Londons Barbican will play host to the first major exhibition of avant-garde designer Jean Paul Gaultiers work, in a career spanning over 40 years.
LA vintage store Decades and luxury fashion destination MatchesFashion.com have teamed up to curate a shop-able edit of archive and vintage pieces from the designer whose cutting-edge, sometimes shocking designs have acted as such a catalyst of change in fashion culture.
We caught up with Decades founder Cameron Silver, suitably attired in green velvet Gaultier himself, at the installation launch.
What turns you on about Jean Paul Gaultier?
I mean for me, it was definitely nostalgia, because really my first fashion I bought in the mid-eighties when I was in high school (on sale!) would be Gaultier. I think he really got me excited about designer fashion, because it just didnt look like other peoples clothes. It was a little edgier, and it had sort of a rock n roll, punk-ish spirit to it, but still beautifully tailored, gorgeous fabrics. I wish Id kept all my Gaultier from the mid-eighties, but I didnt know Id be here tonight.
What are your stand out Gaultier moments?
I think probably most of us really became familiar with Gaultier with Madonnas collaboration. I was at that show when she came out in the suspenders with her nipples, breasts exposed. I have Gaultier moments from before that, but I think thats a moment where Gaultier became part of the vernacular of fashion. And now weve got to bring him back, thats our job.
Did you come into this project with specific pieces in mind?
We had a lot to choose from, and when the Matches team happened to be in La two weeks ago, it was so great to have their curated eye put it together to tell a story. Because its one thing to have a ton of clothes, but it has to be relevant to the environment, and I think they did a really beautiful job. And fortunately we really do have all of the pieces that are representative of the Gaultier exhibition, so everything from the masculine, feminine, the punk, the nautical theme, the corsetry thing, innerwear/outerwear, its all really represented.
If someone was going to buy one thing, what would you recommend?
Im obsessed with the parachute dress thats in the window, and also the red and black plaid kind of punk-ish shirt dress, Im crazy for that. But theyre all special, we didnt send anything basic or boring. Theres nothing I wouldnt buy. Im sorry, Im such a consumer!
The Decades x Jean Paul Gaultier edit will be on sale from April 2nd at MatchesFashion.com, and in store at Matches, 87 Marylebone High Street, London W1.
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk is on at the Barbican, London, from April 9